Motion Force Teacher Guide - Unit Introduction

Unit Introduction


Thank you for choosing Filament Games’ Motion Force, a game about forces and motion. Motion Force puts students in the cockpit of a spacecraft, challenging them to maneuver around numerous obstacles and use their knowledge of Newton’s Laws of Motion to control their trajectories. Motion Force tests students’ understanding of physics through the use of creative puzzles and engaging questions that encourage students to think about the choices they make.

Students control the direction and amount of force they apply to their ship. They learn how multiple forces can change the velocity of a moving object, how mass affects the movement of objects, and how force over time can be used to create curved trajectories. Throughout this process, simple-minded aliens, Fuzzies, serve not only as helpful guides, but also as handy projectiles.

This game is designed to be used in inclusive science classrooms that have a diverse range of students (e.g., average and above average students, students with high incidence disabilities, English language learners, and students who struggle with reading). It is designed using the Universal Design for Learning framework and is strategically aligned to Next Generation Science Standards.

This curriculum package includes materials to help you support your students while they play Motion Force. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Motion Force before your students play. A tutorial walks you through the basic steps of playing the game.

The lessons extend the game-playing process through activities, labs, discussions, and hands-on games. All lessons and activities can be distributed as printable handouts or they can be projected on a whiteboard.

Learning Objectives

  • Link actions/solutions in the game to specific concepts conveyed in Newton’s Laws.
  • Build connections between intuitive understanding of Newtonian physics, which students develop in playing Motion Force, and explicit definitions of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
  • Apply Newton’s Laws to solve process-oriented problems involving size of force, directional motion, and the result of two colliding objects.
  • Most importantly, enjoy Motion Force, and have fun!

Standards Map


  • PS2.A: Forces and Motion

    • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton’s third law). (MS-PS2-1)
    • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. In order to share information with other people, these choices must also be shared. (MS-PS2-2)
  • MS-PS2-1

    Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • MS-PS2-2

    Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

Common Core

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

    Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

    Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

  • 4F/M3a

    An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.